Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Review: THE WINTER'S IN BLOOM by Lisa Tucker

4 of 5 stars

Before I start the review, I'd like to announce that I have 1 hard copy of the book to give away. If you'd like a chance to win, please leave your contact info in the comments section. I'll announce the winner on Sat., Sept. 17.

Review:
Doubt is a powerful emotion especially when it spills over into a child’s world. Children are very perceptive and can easily pick up on a parent’s thinking whether it is verbally expressed or not. I doubt he can climb that tree, so we mustn’t let him try. Doubt is pervasive whether we want it to be or not.

Five-year-old Michael lives in an environment of doubt. Although his parents, David and Kyra Winter, believe they are doing everything possible to raise a happy healthy child, what they are actually doing is dampening little Michael’s free spirit and making him question every natural instinct he has.  Because they micro-manage every part of his life, the little boy does not realize that it’s not part of his parent’s well-orchestrated plan when a stranger shows up in his back yard and asks him to come with her. Of course, Michael says “yes.”

So begins the worst nightmare for any parent – their child has been kidnapped.  There are no clues and even though both David and Kyra were home at the time, neither of them saw the kidnapper take Michael.  As they struggle to come to grips with the situation, they each must face some horrible truths about their respective pasts.  Neither has been totally forthcoming with each other during their marriage about their past relationships and now they must not only face their demons, but also face each other.  Has their marriage and their life together been nothing but a lie? Can they survive the scrutiny and come out whole on the other side? Does one of them know who the kidnapper is?

These are the questions that Ms. Tuckers explores as she takes the reader on a roller coaster of emotions. She does a masterful job revealing the secrets from both David’ and Kyra’s past.  My one complaint was that the clues surrounding the “Dear Mother” letters were too subtle and it caused some confusion about one of the characters. It wasn’t until I had finished the book that I realized who was writing the letters.  The letters themselves make a powerful statement and I would have enjoyed that part of the book more if I had known who was writing them earlier in the story.

All in all, this book is full of wonderfully fleshed-out characters. Ms. Tucker does an exceptional job with little Michael’s voice. He was my favorite character of all.  Recommended.